A new series of public service announcements on CBS is encouraging couples to give prostate exams and pap smears as gifts to each other on Hannukah and Christmas. Are the "CBS Cares" PSAs helping to improve public health—or just creating unnecessary holiday awkwardness? (Watch CBS' Christmas Pap smear PSA, Hanukkah Pap smear PSA, Christmas prostate PSA, and Hanukkah prostate PSA)
They're just... inappropriate: Pap smears and prostate exams are definitely "important," says Gabe Delahaye at Videogum. But neither could ever be mistaken for a gift. "An Xbox 360 is a gift. This is a routine medical exam." If you take CBS's advice, your significant other will probably say something like: "I will get my own pap smears, thanks. I hope that at the very least you also got me a real present, because obviously this is gross AND insufficient."
"What to get for the Jew who has everything/cancer"
The network offers good advice—but beware taking it: The PSAs may provoke "awkward laughter," says Azaria Jagger at Gawker, but CBS deserves credit for raising awareness about these important exams. However, a note of warning for "relationship amateurs" out there tempted to give this to a new girlfriend: "You have to be really comfortable with each other to pull this off."
"When Santa gives you a pap smear"
The spots are funny—and a public service: Admittedly, the ads are "more than a little jarring"—but they're also legitimately "amusing," says Andy Dehnart at Reality Blurred. It's hard to "imagine who’d be offended by" a bit of sound "medical advice" and a few associated jokes.
"CBS’ pap smear gift PSA has versions for Christmas, Hanukkah"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The uncomfortable truth in The Giving Tree
- The U.S. government is actually trouncing Ebola. When will it get credit?
- Why 2014 may be as good as it gets for the Republican Party
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- Why America needs more billionaires
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week